Colored Paper

gustavoramirezcruz Cyclopedidae Berlinus 430x318 - Colored PaperToday, we step just to the side of polymer and check out some amazing paper mache.

This collection I found today just blew me away. The work is by Gustavo Ramirez Cruz and the color and whimsy are just irresistible. Well for me, certainly, but I bet this little guy will tug at quite a few of you, too. It was hard to pick which one to show off. They are such strange creatures he creates, but they invariably have this vulnerable and unaware look that makes me just want to pack them up and take them home to protect them … and to cheer me up while they are at it. Kind of like my dogs, really! And nearly as big as our smaller furball. This cutie measures 46 x 28cm (18″ x 11″) but when I first saw it, I thought, that would make a great brooch!  It would have to be shrunk down some!

Well, instead of blathering on with patterned animal comparisons from our other artist’s this week, how about you use your precious time to jump over to Gustavo’s site and give yourself an eyeful of joy and color this weekend. Just jump over to his simple but entrancing website.


Weekly Inspiration Challenge: Find the pattern in the animals around you. Whether they are pets, critters you see outside your window or exotic animals in a book or online, look for color and patterns that inspire you and let what you find inspire a new piece.


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A Different Kind of Fish

Nadine Pau fish ornamentI love art dolls. And ornaments. And I’m getting into this whole fish thing so it’s no wonder some odd but beautiful item like this fish ornament by doll and toy maker Nadine Pau caught my eye. There is an ode to steampunk here but I like that its present only in its basic forms. What would be watch gears in someone else’s piece are ornate wheels here. Instead of obvious screw heads and rivets we have simple lines with bead like accents regularly terminating them in a mostly alternate rhythm.

Then there is the face, of course. The illustrative look of the face is content and serene and that look (like it doesn’t find anything wrong with being a fish with a human face but is rather enjoying its strange existence) along with the way the face is integrated with the body using a simple wavy trim for the transition makes for a cohesive and very enjoyable creature.

Then there is the question of what this is made of because it very obviously could be made from polymer. However, I believe this is papier mache as that is the only sculpting material she lists. It is possible that the face is fabric but this can all be done with fine papier mache and paint.

If you enjoy a wonderfully wacky creature or two, do take some time to wander through her gallery which you can find on her delightful website here.


Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Take any direct imagery you usually use or that you admire and create highly stylized versions of it for a new piece or additions to a work in progress. If the direct imagery is simple, like a heart, you might want to make it more complex or if complex like gears, simplify it or its components so you come up with forms or imagery that is reminiscent of them but is quite different. How does using the stylized imagery change the feel of the work?


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